The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has welcomed the prospect of a renewed Dáil debate on a Civil Unions Bill.
Mr. Mark Kelly, Director of the ICCL, said the reintroduction of the Bill this evening (31 October 2007) provides an important opportunity to debate the need for constitutional and legislative reform to tackle the inequalities faced by same sex couples.
“As last year’s Colley report made clear, the introduction of civil partnership would be a step in the right direction; however, only the introduction of civil marriage for same sex couples will achieve full equality of status with opposite sex couples” he said.
“Any TD who harbours the belief that it is still acceptable to discriminate against same sex couples should use this opportunity to explain their position to the Dáil. Because the case for equality is made, and the introduction of an express right for all persons – irrespective of their gender identity or sexual orientation – to marry and found a family is long overdue” he added.
The ICCL is campaigning for constitutional reform and legislative reform to prioritise children’s rights and to ensure that all persons have the right to marry and found a family, regardless of their sexual identity or orientation.
For further information contact: Amy Pearson @ 01 799 4503 or 087 998 1574.
Note to Editors:
Solicitor Anne Colley chaired the Government-appointed Working Group on Domestic Partnership which, in November 2006, produced an “Options Paper” on Domestic Partnership (the “Colley Report”).
The Colley Report concluded that “full civil partnership falls short of full equality for same-sex couples as it excludes such families from the protection given to the family in the Constitution” (see Chapter 7, paragraph 23 of the Report).
The Colley Report also made clear that “the introduction of civil marriage for same-sex couples would achieve equality of status with opposite-sex couples and such recognition that would underpin a wider equality for gay and lesbian people. Civil marriage offers legal certainty and predictability in terms of the consequences for each partner. It would be administratively straightforward as the registration arrangements already in place for marriage would apply and would also be straightforward in terms of recognition” (see Chapter 7, paragraph 20 of the Report).
The full text of the Colley Report can be downloaded from the following address: